ALA Annual 2017

Exploring Chicago #alaac17

After my best attempts to make it to winding down sessions and an emptying exhibit hall– my friends and I decided to use our evening to see some Chicago sights! We made our way to the Up Comedy Club to see a Second City improv show! I love improv and the idea of seeing a show at the place where Tina Fey got her start was super exciting! Then we made our way to Pequods for some deep dish pizza! And this evening out reminded me why ALA is so invaluable to me–it’s a chance to reconnect with my grad school friends in a way that life wouldn’t allow me to do! As much as I love them, my vacation time is usually spent on family or leisure time– and since we all live across the nation from each other- this is our time to catch up! As we sat…

ALA Midwinter 2015

Witches, Goonies, and Winnie-the-Pooh: Jason Segel at #alamw15

You know it’s going to be a cool conference when the first person you spot standing outside of McCormick Place is Jason Segel. I’d just hopped off the bus and there he was, hanging out before his talk! Way cool. Segel, an actor and writer, was this morning’s interviewee during the Auditorium Speaker Series. He talked about how his own childhood experiences with night terrors inspired his children’s book, Nightmares! (co-written with Kirsten Miller). “I dreamed witches were eating my toes.” Sounds kind of adorable? “It’s adorable if you’re the eater, not the eatee,” he quipped. He’s been writing since age 22, and is heavily influenced by Roald Dahl, Tim Burton, Goonies, and Labyrinth. While writing The Muppets screenplay, Segel re-read A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh for inspiration and to get in “kid brain” mode. Segel’s primary interest is exploring the human condition of always wanting to be something more, of…

ALA Annual 2013

My Wild Ride with Caldecott in Chicago

I was one of the very fortunate Friends of ALSC scholarship winners to “A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal” preconference at the Art Institute of Chicago. I feel very blessed to have attended this event, especially as I am going to be on the 2015 Caldecott Committee. I feel pretty blessed to be on that as well, but back to the preconference. Art. A whole day devoted to art, and not just any art, but picture-book art in particular!  I think I can say with confidence that most children’s librarians would be pretty excited to be in the same room with 12 Caldecott artists and a whole room full of people who love children’s books. Love them to tears, in fact. Maurice Sendak said that he did not write books for children. Yet his books delighted generations of young people, and adults as well. If Brian Selznick is…